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Green / Sustainable Wine

Natural Wine, Organic & Sustainable Defined ...

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Wines marked with the green leaf icon are produced using organic, biodynamic or sustainable practices as certified by various domestic and international organizations. Any spirits marked with the green leaf have been made using sustainable methods designed to decrease their production impact on the environment.

Does the green leaf mean it is a natural wine?

Though it is a widely used term, “natural wine” is difficult to indisputably define. Other terms are almost as popular: “low intervention,” “live,” “raw,” and “green wine,” to name a few. Isabelle Legeron, Master of Wine, in her book, Natural Wine explains the term best.

“Whether or not it is certified (or indeed certifiable), natural wine does exist. It is wine from vineyards that are farmed organically, at the very least, and which is produced without adding or removing anything during vinification, apart from a dash of sulfites at bottling.”

While this definition may sound ideal to most, the USA defines “organic wine” differently. Read on for clarification.

What is the difference between organic wine and wine made from organic grapes?

Organic wine in the USA is regulated by the National Organic Program (NOP) of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, in accordance with the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990. By definition, organic winegrowing integrates cultural, biological and mechanical practices that foster the cycling of resources, promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering are not allowed. Products from outside of the cycle are used minimally. The USDA NOP allows for two categories of finished wine:

  1. Organic wine, as defined and labeled in the USA, is wine made from organic grapes with no added sulfites. Each country has its own laws on how to define organic wine. But any wine labeled “organic” sold in the USA, whether it is domestically made or imported, is not allowed to have any added sulfites. However, less than 20 mg/L can occur naturally.
  2. Wine made from organic grapes, which allows minimal addition of sulfites (less than 100 mg/L) cannot be labeled as “organic wine” in the USA, but can mention the use of organic grapes.

What is biodynamic wine?

Biodynamic wine is created from a system of winegrowing similar to that for organic wine, but includes various concepts from the ideas of Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925). Steiner’s farming methods treat soil fertility, plant growth and products, and livestock care and products as ecologically interrelated. Biodynamic agriculture uses compost and manure for fertilization, natural herb and mineral supplements for field sprays and prohibits the use of anything artificial. It treats the entire vineyard as an interrelated part of a self-sufficient farm. Biodynamic farming considers the influence of weather, seasons and movements of the moon and planets on the rhythms of the farm. The term “biodynamic” refers to both the agricultural methods used to grow the vines, as well as winery processing.

What does sustainable wine mean?

Sustainable wine production can be defined by three main goals: environmental stewardship, economic profitability and social and economic equity. This means that sustainable farmers do their best to give back to the environment and to the community, while also furthering their business. Sustainable wine growers may largely use organic or biodynamic practices, and occasionally or minimally use synthetic materials (only the least harmful), but have the flexibility to choose the methods that work best for their goals. The sustainable label tells the consumer which wines are made with ecological, economical and social principles in mind. Its limitation is that it is locally defined and therefore varies regionally.

What are sustainable spirits?

While regulations on the spirits side of sustainable are still in their infancy, that hasn’t stopped individual producers from taking heed of conscientious production techniques to reduce their carbon footprint. Distillers striving to make their operations more sustainable are implementing a wide array of eco-friendly procedures ranging from renewable power solutions, water and heat reclamation systems, utilizing locally sourced agricultural produce and composting or reusing any refuse as fertilizer or feed for livestock. In addition to optimizing the efficiency of the manufacturing process, eliminating harmful single use plastics and repurposing or recycling waste products such as barrels and bottles are also proving to be effective strategies for improving sustainability. All spirits labeled “organic” must meet the regulations provided by both Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and the USDA.

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  • d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2009 Front Label
    d'Arenberg The Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
    • RP91
    3.9 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $28.99
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  • Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Voyager Estate Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • WS93
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $69.99
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  • Louis Roederer Cristal Brut with Gift Box 2009  Front Label
    Louis Roederer Cristal Brut with Gift Box 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WE97
    • JS97
    • D97
    • RP96
    • W&S96
    • WS95
    4.4 73 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $249.97
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  • Cayuse Camaspelo 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse Camaspelo 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE96
    • RP92
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
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  • Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009 Front Label
    Villa Maria Reserve Gimblett Gravels Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
    • RP91
    • WE91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $39.99
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    39 99
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  • Bollinger James Bond 007 Spectre Limited Edition Gift Box 2009 Front Label
    Bollinger James Bond 007 Spectre Limited Edition Gift Box 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • RP92
    4.7 13 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $199.97
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  • Pikes Riesling Traditionale 2009 Front Label
    Pikes Riesling Traditionale 2009
    Riesling from Clare Valley, South Australia, Australia
    • RP91
    • WS90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $21.99
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  • Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Front Label
    Vasse Felix Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Margaret River, Western Australia, Australia
    • W&S92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $37.99
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  • Maysara Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir 2009 Front Label
    Maysara Estate Cuvee Pinot Noir 2009
    Pinot Noir from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • WS94
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $31.99
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    31 99
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  • Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009 Front Label
    Domaine de Cristia Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2009
    Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
    • WS92
    • RP91
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $53.99
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    53 99
    53 99
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  • Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2009 Front Label
    Chateau de Saint Cosme Gigondas Hominis Fides 2009
    Rhone Red Blends from Gigondas, Rhone, France
    • WS95
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $47.99
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    47 99
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  • Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2009 Front Label
    Christian Moreau Chablis Vaillon Premier Cru 2009
    Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
    • RP92
    • WE90
    • WS90
    • BH90
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $44.99
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    44 99
    44 99
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  • Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard Claret 2009 Front Label
    Constant Diamond Mountain Vineyard Claret 2009
    Bordeaux Red Blends from Diamond Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
    • WE93
    • WS92
    • RP92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $89.99
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    105
    89 99
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  • Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2009  Front Label
    Cayuse Impulsivo Tempranillo 2009
    Tempranillo from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE94
    • RP93
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $139.97
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    139 97
    139 97
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  • Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2009 Front Label
    Benton Lane Pinot Gris 2009
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP89
    • WS89
    • WE88
    3.6 7 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $16.97
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    20
    16 97
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  • Vietti Roero Arneis 2009 Front Label
    Vietti Roero Arneis 2009
    Arneis from Roero, Piedmont, Italy
    • RP88
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $23.99
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    23 99
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  • Veramonte Merlot Reserva 2009 Front Label
    Veramonte Merlot Reserva 2009
    Merlot from Chile
    • RP87
    • WS87
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $9.99
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    12
    9 99
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  • Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse God Only Knows Grenache 2009
    Grenache from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • RP95
    • WE95
    • WS92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $134.97
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    134 97
    134 97
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  • La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009 Front Label
    La Rioja Alta Vina Ardanza Reserva 2009
    Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain
    • JS96
    • TA95
    • RP93
    • D91
    • WS90
    4.3 209 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $34.99
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  • Louis Roederer Cristal Brut (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009  Front Label
    Louis Roederer Cristal Brut (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Vintage Sparkling Wine from Champagne, France
    • WE97
    • JS97
    • D97
    • RP96
    • W&S96
    • WS95
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $679.99
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    679 99
    679 99
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  • Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    Tablas Creek Esprit de Beaucastel Rouge (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Rhone Red Blends from Central Coast, California
    • RP93
    • W&S92
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $115.00
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    115
    115
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  • Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2009 Front Label
    Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah 2009
    Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
    • WE99
    • RP97
    • WS96
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $159.97
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    159 97
    159 97
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  • Chehalem Reserve Pinot Gris 2009 Front Label
    Chehalem Reserve Pinot Gris 2009
    Pinot Gris/Grigio from Willamette Valley, Oregon
    • RP90
    3.8 5 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $19.99
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    24
    19 99
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  • Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009 Front Label
    Domaine de la Vougeraie Clos de Vougeot Grand Cru (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2009
    Pinot Noir from Vougeot, Cote de Nuits, Cote d'Or, Burgundy, France
    • WS95
    • BH94
    • RP93
    0.0 0 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $259.99
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    259 99
    259 99
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  • Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 Front Label
    Grgich Hills Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
    Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
    • TP91
    • WE90
    • RP90
    4.8 6 Ratings
    Currently Unavailable $48.99
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    60
    48 99
    Save $11.01 (18%)
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